by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:

Bluespam: Now Legal In The UK, Still Dumb Everywhere

from the don't-bother dept

Bluespamming -- the process of sending marketing messages to mobile phones via Bluetooth -- has been a pretty dumb idea from the start. You're basically bothering people who are on the go and who don't care to hear from and effectively invading the "personal space" that is their mobile phone. Unfortunately, it appears that over in the UK, they've now decided that bluespamming is legal. The Information Commissioners Office there removed bluetooth as a marketing medium that requires opt-in notification. However, there's also some good news on the bluespamming front. Companies that are doing it are discovering that it's useless. It doesn't deliver results and is a waste of time, effort and money. But, it's legal!

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    John Duncan Yoyo, Oct 15th, 2007 @ 8:16am

    I think the first step in stopping Bluespamming is to stick your head in the shop that is doing it and giving them a piece of your mind. Lots of people doing this should indicate the bad will this generates isn't worth the cost.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Mike F.M, Oct 15th, 2007 @ 8:16am

    Do you think...

    ...that just because it's legal, it will continue to be used?

    How will that whole thing of "If something's illegal, it's more attractive" affect this situation?

    Being a useless advertising medium is probably why they haven't made it illegal. It's been said on here what a waste of time some laws are, maybe, just maybe, they realised it for this.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Andrew Harris, Oct 15th, 2007 @ 8:22am

    fits the pattern

    This is a privacy issue to me. If they can send you info what's to stop them from taken info, under the guise of marketing research. The Brits seem to be less concerned with privacy issues all around. CCTV has proliferated much quicker than it has in the U.S. as a means to control street crime and violence.The NYPD has a similar program of video subversion but many hoops have to be navigated and the area has to have a high instance of crime already. The Brits have already given up so much of there privcy, why not your address book too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    * Miss Universe, Oct 15th, 2007 @ 8:28am

    Legal means Implied consent (BlueTooth)

    Legal just meant Implied consent if you have Bluetooth turned on and walk past an establishment pushing a message - no more opt-in requirements because Bluetooth is being categorized differently than WAP mail.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Joel Coehoorn, Oct 15th, 2007 @ 9:14am

    IMO, removing bluetooth from the list is a good thing. If bluespam doesn't work, then companies will learn that on their own and it will disappear. This is a classic case of government regulation where it's not needed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2007 @ 9:50am


    Except that in most cases the shop staff probably know it already sucks as an idea but have no say in the companies idiotic policies.

    Reminds me of working for a retailer that had a policy that the shop door must be open all day to show the company was inviting. It was funny because no one gave a shit about the door being opened or closed, except in winter when the customers got pissed off and left because it was so cold due to the door being constantly left open...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    tobydecks, Oct 15th, 2007 @ 11:50am

    Seems futile....

    Do that many people have it turned on all the time anyway?

    I only use it if someone has something I want i.e. a pic or ringtone or the like, then I turn it off afterwards.

    I would find it exceptionally annoying if I did leave it turned on and started getting crap sent to me. For me it would have rather the opposite effect, in that if a company sent me something that way, I'd just think f**k off you twats!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Eric the Grey, Oct 15th, 2007 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Do you think...

    "Missed it by that much..."

    Ahem. Anyway, I have to agree with this here. I don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to me that it will do more to piss people off, and unlike email spam, users of bluetooth devices are going to be more sophisticated, and will most likely find a way to complain about it, or will know how to prevent it (by turning off bluetooth discovery)


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Jeff, Oct 15th, 2007 @ 1:11pm


    on my blackberry and all my older phones for that mater i have to accept the connection before anything happens. so i guess I'm wandering can they bypass that safe guard built in to my phone and send me shit anyways or will that stop them. and if you leave your bluetooth open for anyone your just asking for someone to steal you address book and stuff.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    anthony Kaldis, Oct 15th, 2007 @ 1:36pm


    thoes with gsm phones should not have to worry, (sony ericsson) once you connect your headset, just go into the bluetooth settings and turn on powersaving (this only allowes one connection at a time, your headset)

    however, i sorta like the idea of bluespamming. it tells people that if your not smart enough to use your phone, dont add another risk by turning on your bluetooth. (have you ever heard of bloover)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    zcat, Oct 15th, 2007 @ 2:02pm

    so what's the problem?

    Internet shooting; nobody's doing it, nobody would want to, laws against it are a waste of time.

    Bluespam; Nobody's doing it, nobody would want to, but we should still be making laws against it?

    What gives?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Haywood, Oct 15th, 2007 @ 2:13pm

    Seems like the Hookers could use this one

    Instead of yelling hey buddy do you want a date, they could simply blue spam from their favorite corner.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    inc, Oct 15th, 2007 @ 5:32pm

    the problem with saying it's useless and not worth it is the wrong attitude because just as email spam.. it costs almost nothing to spam a whole lot of people ad it only takes one sales to recoup any money spent. The only advantage is bluetooth's limit range so you can find the bastards spamming you and complain.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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